With Jack Stocken
Susan Ribbons and Lesley Easton have won the Improvers Pairs. Runners up were Colin Robinson and Janet Hardcastle, third were Tony Harmer and Ian Bergel.
Today’s hand comes from a local duplicate. East West were playing Weak Jump overcalls which I would highly recommend as being most disruptive to the opponents. 2♠ showed a good 6 card suit and 5 – 10 points.
Had North South been playing the popular 2NT Jacoby convention then North would have bid 3♠ over West’s
2♠. This would have promised 4+ hearts and 12+ points. The beauty of this convention is that it leaves more bidding room to investigate slam possibility rather than the shut-out bid of 4♥ straight away.
West led the Ten of diamonds against 4♥, declarer won with the King and drew trumps in two rounds ending in hand. Declarer counted four possible losers, the Ace of spades and most likely three clubs as the suit was “Frozen”.
The only way to thaw out the club suit was to try and get the opponents to play the suit, thus guaranteeing declarer a club winner.
Thus declarer played the ♠4 from hand, low from West and the Queen from dummy. Next came the Ace of diamonds, declarer discarding the ♠7 from hand and then declarer ruffed the three of diamonds in hand.
With diamonds partially eliminated, declarer played the losing King of spades from hand, West won with the Ace and was now end-played. With no diamonds left, West could only play a spade which would give declarer a “Ruff and a Discard” or a club, opening up the suit for declarer.
West chose to play the ♣5, hoping partner had the Q10 but declarer played low from dummy and East won with the Ace. East returned a club to West’s King but this then established the Queen of clubs for declarer’s tenth trick. 4♥ made.
Note that had declarer played the club suit herself she would have lost three tricks unless East had both the Ace and King of clubs which is less likely than split honours.